A sweet treat cheat ... refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Actually, this is the only use I've ever had for pre-mixed dough, but that's just me. I remember being grossed out in college by the girls who would eat the chocolate chip cookie dough straight out of the tube. Hopefully it has improved over time, but to me, it tasted like chemicals. Ewww! I'll make my own thanks...
1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2 t lemon zest
2 t orange zest
1/8 t lemon juice
1/8 t orange juice
1/8 t vanilla
red and yellow food coloring
Preheat oven to 350. With your mixer on low, combine the flour into the cookie dough, then divide into three portions. I love an excuse to take a pic with the mixer running. Cracks me up every time that you can do that without it coming out as one big blur!
Put 1/3 of the dough back in the mixer and blend in the vanilla, then set aside. Put another 1/3 of the dough in the mixer along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and enough yellow food coloring to achieve your desired shade. Mix until well blended. Set that dough aside and repeat with the final 1/3 of dough with the orange zest, orange juice, and enough yellow/red (orange if you've got it) to achieve your desired shade. You could use lemon and orange extracts of course, but you've already got the fresh fruit out for zesting anyhow. Because the amount you need is so small, if you don't think you'll be using the fruit right away, just poke a hole in it with a knife or lobster pick or something so you can squeeze the juice from that spot without cutting the whole fruit open.
You are going to roll each color of dough into a separate rope. The first time I did this, I used each section as a whole and ended up with a small batch of huge cookies. Since then, I have been dividing each color in half before rolling it. That's up to you ...
Once you have rolled each portion into a rope, lay them side-by-side on a sheet of waxed paper, with the orange in the middle. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper then, starting in the middle and working out to the ends, roll the dough to about 1/4" thickness and slice into triangles. I used a pastry scraper to cut them.
I'm a parchment fanatic - easier clean-up, no sticking, etc., so line tray with parchment and load it up! Here's another reason for rolling the dough out on waxed paper... I noticed when I first did this that when I tried using the pastry cutter to lift the cookies off my work surface, I had problems with it sticking. I floured the scraper, but a few of the cookies broke apart where the stripes met. With the waxed paper, I just lift the cookie and gently peel the paper away from it - no sticking or breaking.
Bake for about 10", until they start to lightly brown. If you're using parchment, they can cool right on the tray.
If you're in the mood to play with them a bit, you can melt some white chocolate, dip the ends, and sprinkle with Halloween colored sugar crystals, etc. Or, try spreading Nutella or melted dark chocolate between two cookies to make them sandwich cookies.